I finally saw Terminator 3 this weekend, and something has been bothering me about the ending (aside from watching the end of the world).
Skynet’s a distributed system. Presumably its intelligence scales along with the number of nodes it has. Those nodes are computers all over the world. Those computers are most concentrated in major cities. Skynet launches a global nuclear attack on those major cities. That wipes out a huge percentage of its own computing nodes. It’s also going to take out huge chunks of the Internet’s infrastructure, leaving many of the remaining nodes disconnected from each other.
In its attempt to wipe out humans, Skynet gave itself a world-class lobotomy.
I don’t know about you, but that just doesn’t sound like a winning strategy to me.
Haven’t seen T3; probably won’t, but, while doing some research for my latest (and last in the series) RED STAR book, and trying to figure out what would happen to the internet during/after a nuke apocalypse, I was told by many “experts” from military and civilian server-ops, that that basic internet would indeed survive such a wide-spread and pervasive bombardment, as the most critical servers (level one military and/or industrial) are well-shielded and usually well underground. Sure, servers like the one where this comment resides might go bye-bye, and there would be no more family-pictures sites, or auto-shopping sites, and no more eBay, but the basic infrastructure, the big stuff, would remain. If you consider that secondary and tertiary servers on the net don’t really do much but route human intellectual (I use the term loosely) traffic or carry much content that machines would care about or need, it might make sense that they’d sacrifice these fluffy bits to be rid of the humans.
The real threat to the internet after a nuclear war, according to those folks I hit up for info, would be the lack of a dependable power-source. Servers need juice, and after the fuel has run through the generators and there ain’t no more, that’s when things would probably go to shit with the internet. So, once more, we get down to dinosaur-juice (gee, why ARE we in Iraq, after all?) or, if you like the Matrix-concept, I guess you could TRY to use people as batteries, although I think you’d have better luck with hydro-electric, and solar, once the dirt and ash settles out of the post-apocalyptic skies.